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James Connolly

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James Connolly (1867-1919) of Connolly Brothers


1919 Obituary [1]

JAMES CONNOLLY was born in London in November 1867 and died at Windermere in July 1919.

He was educated at the Islington Science and Art School, and then went for a short period as assistant to a pharmacist.

Later he proceeded to Milan and joined his father (the late Thomas Connolly), who introduced the manufacture of rubber and gutta-percha insulated wires into Italy, at the works of Pirelli and Casassa (now Pirelli & Company). He equipped the first cable-testing room for this firm, and for a period of 2 1/2 years was in charge of their research and testing departments. During his engagement at Milan, he was awarded the "Green Ribbon of Merit."

Returning to England, he was appointed by Messrs. Hooper's Telegraph, and India Rubber Works to take charge of their testing department, in which capacity he carried out tests on many of the submarine cables manufactured by the firm.

He subsequently resigned this appointment and rejoined his father in the firm of Messrs. Shaw & Connolly, who had established a cable factory at Manchester, and he remained with the firm after its amalgamation with the Okonite Company of Passaic, N.J. During his engagement with this Company he spent a considerable time at the factory in America, exchanging views with the principals in regard to British and American practice in the manufacture of insulated wires and cables.

Shortly after his return to England the firm of Messrs. Connolly Brothers, Ltd., was established, of which he was a Governing Director up to his death. With the advent of the magneto industry, his long and varied experience, both technically and practically, led him to anticipate an insulated wire other than silk and cotton as an insulating medium. His research work in this direction was the means of producing a satisfactory dielectric in which the residue of stearine wax is transformed into an enamel of high insulating and pressure-resisting properties.

He travelled extensively in practically all the European countries, the United States of America and Canada, and, in addition to his scientific attainments, was a very fluent linguist, frequently giving lectures in the French, Italian, and German languages on scientific and other subjects. He was a Past President of the Cable Makers' Association, and he was associated with several of the Committees on the Standardization of Wires and Cables.

He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1900.


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